Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
Almost ten months have passed since the coup; the Myanmar military group is still ignoring the will of the people, putting the country into turmoil with disproportionate actions when the people are facing the nationwide health crisis under the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of 20 November 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a total of 1,281 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 1,0340 people have been arrested, 7,436 people have still been detained, and 1,954 people have been issued with warrants since 1 February 2021 when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
Arresting PDF Medics
In accordance with the Myanmar Now news, Nine medics of the People’s Defence Force (PDF) and two others were captured on 16 November 2021 by the military forces who overran their base camp in a southwestern district of the Sagaing Region town of Kalay.
It is reported that those captured ones were from the Kalay PDF’s Battalion 3 and were among some 20 PDF members stationed at the camp when the raid began at around 8:30 am on that day, with the military forces firing light and heavy artillery shells.
On 17 November 2021, a member of the military forces shared the photos of the captured nine women with their hands tied on Facebook.
According to the member of the Kalay PDF, on the following week of the incident, the bodies of two men found dead at a base that was overrun by the military troops had multiple injuries, while a woman believed to have been killed the day after the raid had a bullet wound in her forehead.
The male victims were reportedly identified as Cher Thang Puia, 27, and Ram Mawia, 26. The 23-year-old female victim, Baik Rem Chin, was providing medical training at the base, located in southwestern Kalay Township when it was raided. A friend of the murdered woman expressed concern for the safety of the other women captured by the military forces on that day.
Sexual Violence by the Members of the Military Forces
According to the local news agencies, members of the military forces raped a woman repeatedly in Aklui village, Tedim township in Chin State, on the night of 11 November 2021. It is reported that the victim gave birth about six weeks ago, and her husband was forced to get down on the floor and beaten with the rifle during the incident.
Similarly, during July 2021, three soldiers reportedly raped and killed a 55-year-old woman in Momauk Township in Kachin State.
There were also sexual assaults against the detained women committed by the security forces during interrogation and in prisons.
Continuous Tortures during Detention
According to the AAPP, on 13 November 2021, the family of Mr.Ye Aung was informed to retrieve his dead body. Mr.Myint Naing and Mr.Ye Aung are the father and the uncle of a youth who was issued a warrant under Section 505(a) of the Penal Code. On 12 November at Kyauktada Village in Madayar Township, Mandalay Region, both were arrested as hostages when the junta did not find the youth. It is reported that Mr.Ye Aung was killed during interrogation, and many injuries consistent with torture were found on his head.
On 13 November 2021, in Phayar Thikyar Village in Labutta Township, Ayeyarwady Region, Mr. Kyaw Thu Win, was reportedly tortured to death during interrogation. The military forces detained him on 12 November 2021 on suspicion of setting off a bomb.
On 17 November 2021, Mr.Nyi Khin, who helped IDPs in Hpei Hkon Township, Shan State, was reportedly killed during interrogation at the 7th Military Operations Command (MOC-7) due to injuries consistent with torture. He was arrested by the military troops and detained at MOC-7 on November 15.
According to the local news, Mr.Zaw Min Aung, a teacher who is involved in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), living in Myin Thar Village in Thabeikkyinn Township, Mandalay Region, was also killed on 17 November 2021 due to deadly torture during interrogation. He was arrested along with another civilian, at around 11:30 am on that day, for being accused of having association with the People’s Defence Force (PDF).
Taking Family Members as Hostages
On 13 November 2021, the military forces reportedly came to Wae Laung Ywar Thit Village in Taungthar Township, Mandalay Region. When the troops failed to find its former village administrator Mr.Thein Naing Tun, Mr. Nyo Min Thant, a village administration member, and Mr. Nyeing Chan Shin, an alleged PDF member, they detained the wife of Mr.Thein Naing Tun and a young philanthropist named Thein Zaw as hostages.
Similarly, on 14 November 2021, it was reported that the military forces arrived at Yaykyi Pauk Village in Amarapura Township, Mandalay Region, to arrest Mr. Htay Aung, a member of the NLD party. When they did not find him, they detained his 13-year-old son as hostage.
On 20 November 2021, in Kyeeate Village in Kyauksei Township of Mandalay Region, according to the AAPP, when the military troops failed to find Mr.Wai Linn, a protest leader of Kyauksei Township, his elder sister, Ms.Moe Mu, living in, was arrested as a hostage.
Random Shootings at the Civilians
On 13 November, according to the AAPP daily briefing, the military troops raided and opened fire in Mayaninn Village in Khin-u Township, Sagaing Region. During the raid, Mr. Thar Aye, living in Mayan Inn Village, reaping grass for his cows, was shot dead in the stomach in the unprovoked shooting.
In Kyun Ohn Village in Ye-u Township in Sagaing Region on 15 November 2021, Mr. Aung Ko Win, who has mental illness, was shot dead by the military troops. When the troops entered the village that day, he could not run away like other local villagers did.
On November 18, 2021, at around 9 pm in Anout Taw Village in Pakokku Township, Magway Region, Mr. Myint Win was shot dead by the SAC’s security forces when he ran into a patrol of soldiers and police. By that time he was shot, he was walking along the street where he lived.
New Motorbike Restrictions by the Military
According to a local news agency, the military has introduced new restrictions on motorbikes in certain townships in Yangon, Tanintharyi, Sagaing, and Mandalay Regions on 16 November 2021, as an attempt to limit the movements of civilian resistance fighters against the military forces.
It is reported that the new restrictions imposed by the military include the rules: two men are banned from riding on a motorbike together; a man is no longer allowed to sit on the backseat of the motorbike which a woman is riding, and all motorbikes and three-wheeled bikes are banned from the road in some townships. These restrictions have been imposed in Thanlyin and Hlaing Tharyar townships of Yangon Region, Dawei, Myeik townships in Tanintharyi Region, and Monywa in Sagaing Kyaukpadaung, Taung Tha, Meiktila, Mahlaing, Wundwin, and Thazi townships in Mandalay Region.
According to a resident in Meiktila Township, the military forces have threatened to open fire if they see two men riding a motorbike together. In addition, due to these new restrictions, it is reported that motorbike taxi drivers are facing difficulties.
Activities of the National Unity Government
On 15 November 2021, the Ministry of Health of the National Unity Government released a report on the activities of the Ministry for six months, between 16 April 2021 to 15 October 2021. The main activities of the ministry included the activities regarding the COVID-19 response, COVID vaccinations, online consultations for COVID affected patients and general public health, getting feedback on the activities by the public and the service-providers, health awareness activities through online and online classes for medical doctors, nurses and health service providers.
On 16 November 2021, the Ministry of Human Rights of the NUG released a Newsletter on Human Rights, volume (1), no. (1). In this newsletter, information including mass killings by the military junta, the arrests and killings by the military against the youths, women, and education staff, taking hostages of the families of the CDMs and PDFs, the sexual assaults (gang rapes) committed by the terrorist military, and the interview with the Minister for Human Rights H.E. U Aung Myo Min regarding the military burning the ThangLang township. The newsletter is in the local language (Burmese) and can be read on the Facebook page of the National Unity Government. The Ministry will continue releasing the newsletter every two weeks.
On 18 November 2021, the Ministry on Women, Youth and Child Affairs and the Ministry of Human Rights jointly released statement No. (4/2021) regarding the sexual assaults against ethnic women by the members of terrorist military groups. In the statement, the gangrapes and the tortures committed by the members of the terrorist military were listed; repetitive gang rapes on a mother of one-and-a-half months old baby and torturing the father on 11 November 2021 gangrape and killing of 55-years-old women by three soldiers from the terrorist military group. The statement further explained strong evidence that the military has been committing sexual abuse and assaults in the ethnic and conflict areas as a tool against the local people for many years. Highlighting that such sexual assaults and abuses violate the provisions of the CEDAW in which Myanmar is a state party, the ministries will work together in collecting the evidence on the sexual abuses and assaults and transferring them to the international criminal court to bring justice for the victims. In the statement, the international community and organizations, including the United Nations, are called upon to support and work together in holding perpetrators accountable for all the crimes they have committed.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in Response to the Military Coup d’état
The U.S. Department of State issued a statement on 15 November 2021, welcoming the release of American journalist Daniel Fenster from prison in Myanmar, who was wrongfully detained for almost six months, and calling for the release of others who remain unjustly imprisoned in Myanmar.
On 12 November 2021, Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M) remarked that international humanitarian action for Myanmar, including the provision of COVID-19 vaccinations, is a minimum response to the crisis in the country, and humanitarian assistance alone is not a solution to the crisis. SAC-M said that the military must not leverage humanitarian actions to lead to default political settlement. The Council also called for greater international support to ensure delivery and distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations, urging the international community to honour their pledges to ensure the localisation of humanitarian assistance in the country.
At the United Nations daily press briefing on 19 November 2021, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, remarked on Myanmar that the humanitarian situation in Myanmar continues to deteriorate in which more than three million people have needed critical assistance and protection services since the beginning of this year. Food insecurity increase in the country is a particular concern for the UN. According to the UN team in Myanmar, the spokesman added that following heavy fighting in recent weeks in Mindat township in Chin State, many people have fled their homes, and humanitarian access to Mindat has been extremely limited. He said that humanitarian organizations stand ready to scale up their response, yet this requires increased access to those who need aids.
Date: 21 November 2021
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York